“Zoom in” & “Zoom out” with UML

March 25, 2011

In architecture diagramming – its all about Scope.

Too often diagrams are stuffed to the brim with content in a desperate attempt to show a complete architecture. Instead, Systems Flow’s approach values clarity over completeness. It is more important to focus the lens of your diagram on on what is architecturally significant.

Using our preferred architecture notation (UML), its easy to “zoom in”, “zoom out” or – for that matter – zoom “left” or “right” on an architecture.

Here are some examples of different scoping levels using the same UML component diagram notation:

Read more



Investigative Architecture – Read the Tea Leaves of Your Enterprise

March 18, 2011

A foundational skill for an architect is the ability to rapidly assess and document “as is” and proposed solution architectures. The challenge lies in the typical state of enterprise knowledge regarding the systems – a myriad of internal and external information sources at all levels of quality and completeness. Rapidly converting this sea of information into usable knowledge requires a repeatable, structured approach for gathering information from internal stakeholders and documents, as well as performing focused research for publicly-available product and industry information. This is the Investigative Architecture approach. Read more



Why We Use UML

March 10, 2011

Our team has experienced great success with visual modeling based on the Unified Modeling Language. I am not going to define UML nor describe its origin in any detail, – you can review the UML section of our Leveraging UML as a Standard Notation for Enterprise Architecture presentation for that – but instead focus on what we perceive to be the foundation benefits of choosing UML as our “go to” diagramming notation.

Read more



Creating Clear Diagrams

March 5, 2011

We use diagrams to understand, resolve, and communicate on a daily basis. Given their primary role in most of our techniques, it is critical that we be able to create some clear diagrams. Here are some tips, if you want to improve your diagramming-fu.

Read more